Science & Health

Environment
3:36 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Flood Forensics: Why Colorado's Floods Were So Destructive

Flooding brought down a house in Jamestown, Colo., on Sept. 18.
Matthew Staver Landov

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 9:25 am

Parts of Colorado are still drying out after floods hit the state last month. Eight people died, and damage from the worst flooding in decades is in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

Scientists are now venturing into the hardest-hit areas to do a sort of "flood forensics" to understand why the floods were so bad.

Geologist Jonathan Godt takes Peak Highway in northern Colorado up into the Rockies. The road there winds past ravines and streams where water is still rushing.

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Science
3:36 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Researches Who Theorized 'God Particle' Get Physics Nobel

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 6:24 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block. The Nobel Prize in physics was awarded this morning to two scientists from Europe. Both men independently proposed the existence of the so-called "god particle" as part of a mechanism to explain how the universe works. As NPR's Geoff Brumfiel reports, the award was expected but one winner is nowhere to be found.

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The Two-Way
3:27 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Shutdown Forces Antarctic Research Into 'Caretaker Status'

The Chalet (right) is the U.S. Antarctic Program's administrations and operations center at McMurdo Station.
Reed Scherer National Science Foundation

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 3:44 am

Earlier this week we told you that scientists who do research in Antarctica have been on pins and needles, worried that the government shutdown would effectively cancel all of their planned field work this year.

Well, those scientists just got the news they didn't want to hear.

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The Two-Way
1:42 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

An Aerogramme From Professor Higgs, Nobel Winner

Letter from Peter Higgs
David Kestenbaum NPR

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 5:02 pm

Well, it's happened. British scientist Peter Higgs has won a Nobel Prize for proposing the Higgs boson particle as part of a mechanism that explains how things in the universe came to have mass.

Higgs seems to be lying low today so far — a colleague told The New York Times that Higgs had "gone off by himself for a few days without saying where" and that a reporter seeking an interview recently had been "sent away with a flea in his ear."

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The Two-Way
6:23 am
Tue October 8, 2013

Higgs Boson Researchers Awarded The Nobel Prize In Physics

British theoretical physicist Peter Higgs (left) and Belgian theoretical physicist Francois Englert were awarded the Nobel Prize in physics on Tuesday.
Fabrice Coffrini AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 10:09 am

Peter Higgs and Francois Englert have been jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in physics for their theory of how particles acquire mass, the Swedish committee announced Tuesday.

The prize was given "for the theoretical discovery of a mechanism that contributes to our understanding of the origin of mass of subatomic particles, and which recently was confirmed through the discovery of the predicted fundamental particle, by the ATLAS and CMS experiments at CERN's Large Hadron Collider."

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The Government Shutdown
4:51 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Even Antarctica Feels Effects Of The Government Shutdown

A helicopter is unloaded from an LC-130 in Antarctica last December. Researchers on this mission were studying the Pine Island Glacier, one of the fastest-receding glaciers on the continent.
August Allen National Science Foundation

Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 5:50 pm

It looks like even Antarctica isn't far away enough to avoid getting caught up in the government shutdown.

That's because it's currently springtime there, and scientists who study this remote, rugged continent are poised to take advantage of the few months when there's enough daylight and it's warm enough to work. Advance teams have already started working to get things set up and ready for the researchers, who usually begin heading south right about now.

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Science
3:20 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Scientists Win Nobel For Work On How Cells Communicate

Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 5:50 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

Three scientists will win this year's Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their role in figuring out how cells talk to one another. They do that by releasing and soaking up molecules. This basic knowledge also helps explain diseases, from mental illness to immune disorders.

NPR's Richard Harris has our story.

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The Two-Way
10:18 am
Mon October 7, 2013

MIT Scientists Develop New Breed Of Self-Assembling Robots

M-Block cube robots rest on a work table in the Distributed Robotics Lab in CSAIL at MIT in Cambridge, Mass. The robots are 50mm cubes that can reconfigure themselves into various arrangements using self-propulsion and magnets.
M. Scott Brauer MIT

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 8:49 am

They're called M-Blocks and the tiny, cubical robots that can spin, flip and jump their way into new configurations are the brainchild of scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

According to MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), M-Blocks:

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Shots - Health News
8:33 am
Mon October 7, 2013

Nobel Winners Decoded How Neurons And Cells Talk To Each Other

From left: Randy Schekman, Thomas Suedhof and James Rothman shared the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 11:01 am

The three scientists who shared this year's Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine all made discoveries that illuminate how the body's cells communicate.

The research has sweeping implications for our understanding of how nerves in the brain transmit signals, how the immune system attacks pathogens and how hormones, like insulin, get into the bloodstream.

Bioengineers have already harnessed the discoveries to manufacture new vaccines and improve the quality of insulin for diabetics.

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The Two-Way
5:43 am
Mon October 7, 2013

Researchers From U.S., Germany, Share Nobel Prize For Medicine

Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 1:42 pm

Two Americans, James Rothman and Randy Schekman, and German-born researcher Thomas Südhof have won the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for "solving the mystery of how the cell organizes its transport system," according to the Nobel committee.

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Research News
3:55 am
Mon October 7, 2013

Nobel Prize Awarded In Medicine

Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 4:55 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

OK. This year's Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine will go to three scientists who have figured out how cells package up material - like hormones - and how they deliver those materials to other cells. This is one of the most basic functions for living cells and diseases can result when the machinery goes awry, so it's important to understand.

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U.S.
4:06 pm
Sun October 6, 2013

Why Women Might Be Giving Up On Math And Science

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

The vast majority of professional scientists, mathematicians and engineers are men. But why? More young women than ever are pursuing advanced degrees, but there are still very few female professors of physics, math or engineering. We caught up with some young women at UCLA, all good students who had scored well enough in math to get into UCLA, and asked them why they decided not to study science or math in college.

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Humans
7:03 am
Sat October 5, 2013

Knocking Wood Could Help Avoid Trouble

Originally published on Sat October 5, 2013 10:11 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Research News
7:03 am
Sat October 5, 2013

NYC Cockroaches Stick To Their Neighborhoods

Originally published on Sat October 5, 2013 10:11 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is "West Side Story" - on six legs. Dr. Mark Stoeckle, who's a researcher at Rockefeller University, says that New York cockroaches can be just about as territorial as the sharks and the jets. He joins us from the studios of the Radio Foundation on the Upper West Side. Thanks so much for being with us.

MARK STOECKLE: It's good to be here. Thank you.

SIMON: So are cockroaches as native to New York as poppy seed bagels?

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Krulwich Wonders...
6:38 am
Sat October 5, 2013

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